Assignments

A. COURSE BLOG
We will start blogging on the first day of the program (June 30). Each student will have assigned days based on last name and corresponding number. Number one goes first, followed by number two, etc. On these days you MUST post on the blog. You are free, and indeed, encouraged, to post more frequently. While the blog is for the program, it is open to parents, friends, faculty, staff, administrators and anyone who wants to follow us on our course.

You are speaking for the group when you blog/post the day’s activities. Discuss what we did and illustrate with photographs you have taken of the group, the places we have been to, our travels and the experiences you have outside of class. Use the royal “we.” Remember, blogs/posts can contain photos, video, audio and graphics as well as words. You may not post copyrighted material produced by others. Find at least one student in the group to copyedit your work before it is published. Avoid grammar, spelling and factual mistakes. Three posts (your assigned days) are required for a grade of a 2.0 in the blog category, four posts earns a 3.0 and six or more results in a 4.0.

B. ARLES EXHIBITION REVIEWS
On the first day in Arles the group will attend an exhibition site together. In addition, students are expected to visit at least three additional exhibitions on their own or in small groups. Each student must post three reviews of the three or more exhibitions seen on your own—total three short reviews.

The reviews should be between 250 and 500 words and use the following format:
• Your name
• Name of exhibition and venue location
• What was the exhibition about? Discuss the central idea or ideas of this exhibition?
• What did you learn? Discuss ideas, techniques, approaches to image-making, values, ethical, political, social, cultural issues raised, etc.
• Describe one memorable image? Why did you single out this image?

Reviews can be posted each day while we are in Arles and must be posted no later than the morning of July 17. You are encouraged to also post a photograph you make that relates to each exhibition. Since you cannot post copyrighted material your images should show the overall venue, people looking at the exhibition, etc. You should not post the photographer’s copyrighted work; however, you should think about adding a link or links to the work of the photographer.

See the 2013 preview of Les Rencontres Arles Photographie. This will provide you with an overview of the exhibitions at the festival and should help you select the ones that are don’t miss exhibitions for you.

C. PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECTS (May be done in color or black and white)

1. Prague: Architectural Photography (light and shape)
Prague is a city of astounding architecture. Most of it is old, some relatively new. Your project is to photograph the architecture (light and shape) of the city broadly defined. Buildings, details of buildings, scenes with people where the architecture (light and shape) is a primary visual element, formal landscape architecture and even cemeteries all fit. Begin your study by walking around the streets of Prague. Many photographers spend hours of time just looking before making that first picture. Think about shape, form, texture, light, detail and perspective.

Look for engaging subject matter, strong composition and juxtaposition of elements and use of color. Let the photograph ask its own questions. Begin by shooting whatever attracts you and then begin to sort out how to shape what you are attracted to into an architectural study (light and shape). Pay attention to place, time of day, light and composition as well as the human dynamic. Think carefully; sequence your images for maximum impact. Go back as many times as necessary to shoot your study.

For this project you must shoot a minimum of 60 images. Edit down to six for the critique. Turn in two for your final portfolio that provide an impressionistic view of the architecture of Prague. Captions required for the final portfolio.

Critique:Monday, July 8. Bring your six images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.prague.

2. Arles conceptual project
As you look at the exhibitions, make note of the ones that express a concept. The images will be less about the subject matter and more about an idea. The images are often staged. This type of photography is a departure from photojournalism and has a home in art and advertising. Come up with your own idea and stage photographs that further the idea. Use Arles as your backdrop. Example: Cindy Sherman explored the concept of women in society through self portraits.

For this project you must write a paragraph on your concept and shoot a minimum of 20 images that support your concept. Edit down to six for the critique. Turn in two for your final portfolio. Captions required for the final portfolio.

Critique: Monday, July 15.  Bring your six images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.arles.

3. Arles and Roman ruins
Arles is an old Roman city. It contains several Roman and Romanesque Monuments. For a brief and important description of this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage site go to http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/164/. You should make sure you read the material and look at the gallery before our arrival in Arles. For additional information also see http://www.francethisway.com/places/romanarles.php. The information on these websites will help you think about which aspect or aspects of Roman Arles you want to photograph.

In addition to the monuments in the city, there are a few outside the city walls. One of the most impressive is the Avenue of the Sarcophagus.

When photographing the Roman ruins in Arles look for engaging subject matter, strong composition and juxtaposition of elements and use of color. Pay attention to place and time of day. Let the photograph ask its own questions.

For this project you must shoot a minimum of 30 images. Edit down to four for the critique. Turn in two for your final portfolio that provide an impressionistic view of the Roman ruins of Arles. Captions required for the final portfolio. Make sure you take good notes.

Critique: Monday, July 15.  Bring your four images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.ruins.

4. Paris street life
Paris is a city of fascinating neighborhoods, incredible parks, monuments, museums, architecture, food and wine. A lot of Parisian life is centered on the streets and parks, both during the day and at night. Paris is a city of high-energy. For the week we will be in Paris you should focus on the life of this city broadly defined. You should think about how to visually represent the energy of this multi-cultural city while exploring a variety of photographic perspectives. Look for situations where you can photograph from high up looking down. Look for ways to shoot at waist or ground level as well as at traditional eye level. You may approach this project either impressionistically like you did in Prague and Arles or you may try to construct a narrative. This project is broad in scope. What we are looking for is your idiosyncratic take on Paris.

Area for Paris photo story.

Area for Paris photostory. Click for larger view.

You will concentrate on our neighborhood with the following boundaries: Northeast – Pompidou Center, Southeast – Notre Dame Cathedral,  West – The Bastille. The hostel is located near St. Paul metro stop located with the blue dot on the map. The story of Les Miserables was set in the area of the Bastille and the road leading to St. Paul.

For this project you must shoot a minimum of 60 images. Edit down to six for the critique. Turn in two for your final portfolio that provide an impressionistic or narrative view of the energy of this multi-cultural city. Pay attention to place, time of day, light and composition as well as the human dynamic. Captions required for the final portfolio.

 Critique: Wednesday, July 24. Bring your six images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.paris.

5. Stonehenge at sunrise and Lacock
Photograph Stonehenge at sunrise and Lacock* a little later in the day. When we first arrive at Stonehenge walk around the outside of the circles before going inside. Be considerate of your classmates and move if you are in the way of their shot. Do NOT climb on the stones or disturb them in any way. Take a minimum of 60 photographs on this field trip—30 at Stonehenge and 30 at Lacock. Edit down to four—two from each site—for the critique. Turn in two—one from each site—for your final portfolio.

*Lacock village, along with Lacock Abbey are properties of the National Trust.  William Henry Fox Talbot was a gentleman who lived in the Abbey and among other interests, was a serious amateur photographer. He is credited as being the inventor of positive/negative photography. Look at the exhibits in the museum, visit the Abbey and explore the village. If you are familiar with the TV series, Downton Abbey, you will find many similarities.

Critique: Friday, August 2 in London. Bring your four images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.stonehenge.lacock.

6. London street life
Walk around London and get some preliminary ideas for a project. If your project is a documentary of some sort, talk to at least two local people to get first hand information on how the locals view London. Go back as many times as necessary to shoot your project paying attention to place, time of day, light and composition as well as the human dynamic. The images should work together to express a story or concept.

By the end of our time in London you should have shot a minimum of 60 images. Edit down to 8 for the critique. Turn in 3 for your final portfolio. Pay attention to place, time of day, light and composition as well as the human dynamic. Think carefully; sequence your images for maximum impact. Captions required for the final portfolio.

Final critique: Friday, August 2. Bring your images on a USB drive. They should be in a folder marked yourlastname.london.

 8. Final portfolio
See separate sheet for instructions.

GRADUATE STUDENTS

Grad students have one additional assignment, writing a reflective essay of 1,000 to 1,500 words. This essay should address what you have learned about photography; how the program changed the way you look at the world, etc. The essay should contain specific references to speakers you heard, exhibitions you attended, projects you completed and the travel and cultural experiences that frame the program. This project is graded as pass or no pass. It is due at the time you submit your final portfolio.

 GENERAL INFORMATION
Note: Attendance and participation is expected at each scheduled session. It is your responsibility to be an active participant in our sessions. As our presenters speak you should formulate questions for them or come to the session with some questions you would like answered about their area of expertise. For example, you might ask how does one go about building a portfolio as an artist, photojournalist, architectural or advertising photographer? How does one present that portfolio? What made you decide to become a photographer, editor, publisher, etc.? How do you find a balance between your family life and your work life? Keep in mind that the only dumb question is the unasked question.

Failure to attend sessions and to actively participate in discussion with the presenters will adversely affect your total experience and your final grade. Students are expected to ask at least ONE question at each session. Each unexcused absence will lower the final grade by 0.5 on a 4.0 scale.